Monday, September 25, 2006

My Brain Hurts

I started writing about 10 am. It's now just after 3.30pm. I've had about 4 x 20 minute breaks during the course and now I'm knocking off. Maybe I'll get back to it later this evening. Maybe I won't.

Is that a good days work?

Protestant work ethic wise probably not. A little over four hours work in a day? Curse you to hell you slacker.

But there is a huge difference between writing and typing. Typing is when you sit at the computer and force out x number of pages at x words per minute. Writing is when you you focus all your attention on getting great pages down.

I'd rather write 5 great pages in a day than type 20. Great to me anyway. I mean pages I'm going to look at tomorow and not have an overwhelming urge to immediately re-write them, thus taking valuable time and energy away from the next great five pages.

Actually I wrote seven, but who's counting?

The point is, that to me, those were valuable pages. They helped me define character and story. Yes I thought I had a good handle on both before I started. But these pages helped me go deeper. Enhancing both without disrupting pace and tone.

And that takes work. And is tiring. Just as much digging coal or being Tony Blair's spin doctor. I mean it.

Whether that took me 4 hours or 12 hours is irrelevant. As a writer you know when to stop. You know when you've hit that wall and and everything else is downhill. You're just digging holes for yourself that have to be fixed tomorrow.

Write smart.

Spend more time thinking than typing. Thinking is hard. Typing is easy.

4 comments:

Good Dog said...

Absolutely. There are days when there is more thinking than writing. Without the thinking it is just typing. In the past, I used to keep a note of how many walks I took for each project to figure the stories out.

Earlier this year, ghost writing the book, I had to write a minimum of 3,000 words a day. But that was only because the idiot I was working for took ages to get around to telling what the deadline was. Before then, even while we were out filming or I was working on other projects I would be thinking about the book’s plot and characters. So by crunch time everything was already in place.

There’s no point going full steam ahead if you have to reverse back up the following day.

Writing may be tiring at times. But it’s fulfilling.

And certainly better than being a Labour party spin doctor. I mean, who wants to end the day with the inside of their mouth lacerated from smoking a demon’s horned cock?

DJ said...

"Spend more time thinking than typing. Thinking is hard. Typing is easy."

AMEN.

EJ

wcdixon said...

And at the end of a long day...it becomes:

"Thinking hard...typing easy."

Followed with a caveman-like grunt...

Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Or as David Mamaet says: "Dialogue is easy, plot is difficult".